Dairy industry suppliers, marketers and processors joined the first-ever online Championship Cheese Auction on April 24 and raised more than $93,000 to support the Championship Cheese Contests, scholarship programs and educational workshops of the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association.

“The coronavirus pandemic brought change and delay for our industry gathering, CheeseExpo, and we wanted to try to retain this tribute to great cheesemaking,” WCMA Executive Director John Umhoefer said. “We are very thankful that so many industry people joined to watch this live auction, to bid and to support our educational efforts at WCMA.”

Through the years, annual Championship Cheese Auctions have provided crucial support to the U.S. and World Championship Cheese Contests, funds for WCMA student scholarships and subsidized WCMA’s supervisor and manager training programs. Auction funds have allowed WCMA to support the construction of the new Center for Dairy Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the new dairy pilot plant at UW River Falls and the Davis Dairy Plant at South Dakota State University.

Additionally, the auction offers supplier partners and processors a chance to thank and support the cheese companies that make this industry famous.

“WCMA is grateful for each and every bidder who generously participated in the Championship Cheese Auction,” WCMA Events Manager Kirsten Strohmenger said. “With so much happening in the world right now, we are deeply appreciative to members of the dairy industry community for coming together to support our mission.”